Abandoned Mines in Wrangell-St. Elias

Entrance to abandoned mine on steep mountain slope.

Since 1900, there has been extensive mineral exploration and development within the Wrangell-St. Elias / Chugach Mountains area. Numerous abandoned and inactive mineral properties are scattered throughout the park and preserve. Hazards exist at these sites. Visitors should use extreme caution and avoid abandoned mineral properties. Explosives, mine openings, unsafe structures and toxic chemicals may be present. Many inactive mineral sites are privately owned. Please check the land status before planning a trip.

  • Explosives: This material may not be marked or identifiable and can be extremely dangerous. Do not touch!
  • Chemicals: A variety of chemicals were used in the processing of ore and related mining activities, many of which are caustic, explosive or toxic. Do not attempt to identify the contents!
  • Mine openings: There are hundreds of exploratory and production mine tunnels and shafts throughout the park and preserve. Many may be overgrown with brush or covered with old wood or rock. These mine openings are old, unmaintained and extremely dangerous, and may be without breathable air. Do not enter or attempt to go underground!

If explosives, chemicals or mine openings are discovered, leave the site immediately and report the location to a park ranger.

Last updated: February 9, 2016

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve
PO Box 439
Mile 106.8 Richardson Highway

Copper Center , AK 99573


907 822-5234

Contact Us

Stay Connected